The Beatles’ White Album, an expansive, disjointed, sarcastic, Transcendental Meditation-influenced double album that, to my mind, singularly captured the turmoil and ennui of its age (though some contemporary critics saw it as too conservative and, in the words of a New York Times reviewer, “boring beyond belief”) while directly contributing to the band’s breakup — Ringo quit for two weeks during the lengthy recording sessions and didn’t play on some tracks, George Martin took a leave of absence, Paul grew to really, really hate Yoko — has in the 44 years since its release come to be seen as one of the best entries in the entire rock-’n’-roll catalogue. “Helter Skelter,” “Dear Prudence,” “Hey Jude,” “Back in the USSR,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” — so many songs that provided the soundtrack for a generation.
For the past decade, the Classic Albums Live crew has been touring around the country, offering note-for-note reconstructions of, well, classic albums, everything from Prince’s Purple Rain to Led Zeppelin’s I and II to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Tonight they work their magic — and the reproductions are quite uncanny, deviating really in the only area you can’t replicate: voice — on The White Album, all 30 songs, but together a record greater than the sum of its parts. And this concert on this date is entirely appropriate: Oct. 9 would have been John Lennon’s 74th birthday.